2014 Reds

Holiday reading material

Mark Sheldon has a holiday-themed interview with Devin Mesoraco. The young catcher’s wish for Reds fans? Winning the division.

I think for us, it would be to get back to where we belong at the top of our division. That would be the biggest thing. In the playoffs, anything can happen. It comes down more to a who-is-hot type of thing. For us, to get back on top in the division would be pretty important.

Jerry Crasnick at ESPN has a feature article about Bronson Arroyo and the pitcher’s wait during free agency. Bronson draws an analogy to attending a party.

“There’s no point in me really thinking about where my perfect place is, because I don’t know who’s interested,” Arroyo said. “It’s like going to a party and the whole premise is to find a wife. There are 10 girls there, and three of them are smoking hot, but they don’t even look in your direction twice, so there’s no point in going after them. Then maybe somebody else comes along who didn’t seem so attractive at first, and you like what she’s saying and you think, ‘Hey, maybe this is the one.’

“That’s the way I see it. I can’t pick and choose teams. They have to choose me, and I realize it could take a long time for them to get where they need to be. I’ve been fine, but if it’s January 15th and I’m still spinning my wheels, I’ll probably change my tune.”

Wonder where agents fit into that metaphor. Bronson confirms that the Reds haven’t made a one-year offer.

Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs discusses Shin-Soo Choo’s platoon split. Thank goodness the Reds don’t have to worry about that any more.

From the looks of things, there’s not much reason to worry. Perhaps Choo’s struggles against lefties suggest he’ll decline sooner than average, but that’s just a shot in the dark. Teams haven’t really exploited these players before. If you wish Choo were the same but more balanced, he’d be better against lefties but worse against righties, so that would even out. If you wish Choo were better against lefties, you’d just be wishing he were better, and everyone wants every player on their team to be better. Choo is what he is, and he’s good, and he happens to just pile up his biggest offensive contributions when there are righties on the mound. Righties throw a lot more innings than lefties do.

Kinda says something about the Reds off season (so far … ) that two of the three articles are about former players. Ennui puppy.

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19 thoughts on “Holiday reading material

  1. I like Mesoraco. I’m not sure what the deal was with him and Dusty, but he seems like he wants to win, period. He strikes me as a very competitive guy who could be a bit overbearing in the eyes of some of the cooler, more even-keeled members of the Reds teams of the past couple of years (Hanigan, Arroyo, etc.). However, I think his intensity will be helpful moving forward. There is nothing wrong with having a hot-headed (think Paul O’Neil) kind of guy to express how upset he is with striking out, making a baserunning blunder, etc. I think Joey has quite a bit of this as well and kept more of a lid on it in the past couple of years.

    Who knows what Walt is up to. . . After the meetings, I was mildly disappointed. After last week, I was more disappointed. However, I am glad that they did not sign Choo (give me the pick and free me from an albatross of a contract, thank you very mucy). Also, the pitching as it lines up at this moment will surely be comparable with the pitching of last year, and if the Reds are lucky health-wise, could include a year of Cueto (he could be a 4-5 win player on his own). With Homer in a walk year, I would not be surprise if he eclipsed 5 wins as well.

    As for the lineup, didn’t the Reds win 97 games in 2012? . . . Personally, I would like to see a lineup as follows (with the present players).

    Hamilton
    Phillips
    Votto
    Bruce
    Ludwick
    Mesoraco
    Frazier
    Cozart
    Pitcher

    I would love to hit Votto second, but the walk issue hitting behind Hamilton is problematic. I would also like to hit Hamilton eighth, but that is simply a tough place to work on on-base skills. Also, I believe Phillips is bound to look more like the first-half version of 2013 than the second-half because of health.

    Is this offense perfect? . . . No, but it has the potential to be as good as the ’12 offense. Also, I would like to see BP moved and think he very well could be before all is said and done, but only if a solid 2B option is available (Nick Franklin would be nice). The trick with a team like the Reds is to continually be able to inject youth into a core so that as the core declines (and, in some cases, moves on), the youth can become the new core. This is why I also won’t be sad if Homer leaves after ’14. I’ll take the pick and the payroll freedom that comes with not allocating market value to a pitcher over a long period of time.

  2. Unfortunately, there are going to be years where your favorite team doesn’t do much of anything to improve themselves. There are even going to be years where they may take a step back. It stinks but it is just the way things are. Even as currently stands, I think this is an 88-92 win team. That’s probably enough to get them into the playoffs and from there, anything can happen. My biggest concern is Hamilton not being ready. There are also concerns about Marshall’s health and about rather Cueto can be the 2012 version. All teams have question marks though.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone at RLN. There are some good people who post on this site and it’s run by people who really love the Reds.

  3. I agree with you Drew Maca about Mesoraco’s leadership potential.

    Why not bat Votto Second? First and third with BP at bat? Joey would get more fastballs. Maybe it would be more of BP leading off the inning with a 2-0 lead.

    I agree with Preach as I really do not like that Milton guy.

    I am fine with the team as it is and am really happy that we did not make the deal to make the deal and worsen the team. I am fine with Phillips starting and ending the season with the Reds unless we get overwhelmed with the return in value via trade.

    “it would be to get back to where we belong at the top of our division” Cheers and Merry Christmas everybody

  4. You need to be an OLD Reds fan to remember this group. If you do, great. If not, just ask anybody over 50.

  5. I agree. Merry Christmas everyone, and Kwanza, and Hannukah, and whatever other holiday you put in the season. It would be nice to find a one year lead off hitter in my stocking, but I am going to have good thoughts about Hamilton and also that everyone will have a bounce back year. Here is to a much better year for the guys in the minors, may they all become bonafide major leaguers either in Cincy or elsewhere. To Mr. Castellini, Jocketty, Price, and the new and old coaches: if we criticize it is because we care. May 2014 be a glorious year for Cincinnati professional sports, starting with the Bengals and ending in the WS for the Reds. Finally, to all those who visit this site regularly and comment, you have kept me entertained and made me think, thank you. If I have offended anyone, do not take it personally, you are as rabid a bunch of people as I am and I am grateful to have a place to express myself. Again, thank you all and happy holidays.

  6. I’d love for the Reds to get back to the top of the NL Central again, and I have the most respect for the team that wins the most games over the 162 game grind.

    But given that the Reds won the division in 2010 and 2012 and then went nowhere in the playoffs, I’d say the main goal in 2014 is to win a playoff series (not just the play-in game), regardless of how they get there.

  7. Bronson’s analogy is amusing. Steve’s comment about where do agents fit in is even more amusing.

      • @Johnu1: First thing I thought was that the agents were your drunk friend who went in first looking like a jackass to soften things up and make you look better by comparison.

        • @Tony Liao: I used to just wait around till the cops came and took all the losers to jail, then did a Fawn Liebowitz* on the lonely lasses who were left behind.

          * Animal House (road trip)

  8. I feel optimistic about offensive improvements in 2014 from Ludwick (closer to 2012 than 2013), Joey (slugging pct.), BP (healthier and motivated), and Mes.

    But there’s a flaw in this kind of optimism. Players will get hurt in 2014 also, and we don’t know who yet. The Reds need more position player depth. If you add the switch hitting SS that WJ is talking about and look at the projected bench, it’s scary bad, worse than last year.

    The most obvious move would be to pick up a corner IFer who can hit and get rid of Hannahan.

  9. Merry Christmas everyone and if Saint Walt Clause is reading this all I want for Christmas is a 4 hole hitter and Brandon Phillips traded

  10. What is the general opinion on this pitcher the Reds got in this David Holmberg? He’s a lefty, only with 1 start above AA.

    • @earl: I think it was a good move, though trading for prospects is always iffy until they make it. This is a trade that may be a great one or it might be a trade where the Reds get very little. As I recall, most of the “experts” did not think much of Hanigan when he was coming up. I don’t think Holmberg is an ace, but I don’t think he will be chopped liver either. If he is capable of being a #3 or #4, this was a good deal. Imagine a rotation in two or three years that could have Stephenson, Cingrani, Travieso, Holmberg, and add that to Cueto, Latos, or whoever is signed to extensions.

  11. Hope you’ve all had a Merry Christmas!!

    Apparently the Tanaka sweepstakes officially will open on Thursday and can last through Jan. 24. Maybe his eventual signing will spur other moves for starting pitchers.

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